Friday, 3 March 2017

Transparency is Working in Omber

I have such a huge long list of features that I want to add to Omber that it's difficult to choose what to implement next. What I do is that I try to design all the art needed for Omber in Omber itself. If I encounter a missing feature that I need for that art, I can then prioritize working on that feature. The current feature that I'm working on is support for transparency and alpha channels.

Android icons are supposed to have a drop-shadow behind them. A drop-shadow is a semi-transparent shadow that blurs to fully transparent at the edges. When I was making Android icons for Android, I found no way to add a drop-shadow to my icons using Omber, so the current Android icons don't have that visual effect in them. Although many computer art programs have a special drop-shadow tool, I find that drop-shadow tools to be fairly limited in functionality. Since Omber is designed around advanced gradients, it could support drop-shadows if I simply added support for transparency in its gradients. Unlike a more basic drop-shadow tool, you have full control over the shape, size, and opacity of the drop-shadows you create. So for the past few weeks, I've been adding support for transparency to Omber.

Today, I've finally gotten basic transparency support working, and it seems to work well. I'm hoping to be able to release it for public use in a week. While implementing transparency, I also had to re-architect large parts of the Omber's internals. With this re-architecting, I should be able to quickly add support for other features like textured shapes as well, so that will be the next feature I add after transparency.

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